|off Wellsville Rd., Washington Township, York County PA|
Geese are moving north by the thousands, Canada geese and snow geese both. Two nights ago was the most. Shortly before 9 p.m. they flew over Roundtop mountain and so over my cabin, so many of them and so loud that I couldn’t have carried on a conversation. Every day this week I have seen them, flock after flock, some flocks well over 100 birds.
Their move north is late this year, to no one’s surprise who’s lived in the eastern U.S. this past winter. In this area the movement of waterfowl usually starts the last week of February and tapers off by the end of the first week of March. This year everything was still iced in until last weekend, and now the northward migration is compressed into a few short days. The birds are really feeling the urge to move, no dawdling, no short hops with long stops. They need to get north to get on their breeding grounds and get to work, to get the best breeding sites before that other goose pair beats them to it. The movement has a sort of desperation to it now. They fly early, they fly late, they fly when the weather is not ideal, they fly on a northerly wind.
I still have a bit of snow up on the mountain, patches mostly, but down off the mountain last weekend’s rain made the snow disappear about as fast as I’ve ever seen snow disappear. The farm fields are now bare of it. More snow is expected on Friday, though it won’t last long. This time of year it never does. I am glad I didn’t put the snow shovel away just yet, as I am going to need it at least one more time.